A scene from the 2014 Louisiana Book Festival. Photo courtesy Julie Thomas

The Louisiana Book Festival stacks up the weekend

With names like Tennessee Williams and Kate Chopin to its credit, Louisiana’s literary history has always contended as one of the finest in the nation, so it’s no surprise that Baton Rouge should hold a yearly festival to honor it. For the 13th year in a row, the annual Louisiana Book Festival is stacking the shelves of the State Library of Louisiana, the State Capitol, and the Capitol Park Museum this Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event expects to accommodate around 20,000 visitors and will host more than 220 authors, panelists and other participants taking part in more than 150 programs for writers and literature enthusiasts alike.

Anyone regularly keeping up with Book Festival traditions will have read the official selection for this year’s One Book, One Festival initiative, James Lee Burke’s Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, and is welcome to participate in the scholar-led discussion from 4 to 5 p.m. in the State Capitol. Aspiring writers working on their craft can also attend several of the festival’s WordShops, educational workshops led by highly credentialed writers and teachers, which this year include author Margaret Eby’s workshop on writing about place (check out our review of her book, South Toward Home, here).

For those wanting an even closer look at the people who make this literary celebration possible, an Author’s Party will be held Friday, October 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the State Library. For $50 admission, guests can join the Book Festival Foundation in thanking the writers, poets, panelists and sponsors with an evening of music, cuisine, drinks and fantastic company.

The casual book lover will still have endless opportunities to indulge, including presentations for teens from young adult authors like Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiel (who will also speak at the Main Library at Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m.). Younger readers can also stop by several activity tents for storytelling, writing enrichment and face painting, among other activities.

To learn more about the vendors and events, plus food and musical entertainment, visit louisianabookfestival.org.